Ellen Burns, owner and creator of We Bar None, a boutique Ballarat food producer, has combined two important things in her life into a delicious snack bar product range – health and a love for nature.
‘I know for myself and for many others that it can be easy to eat healthy for the three main meals of the day, but that snacking is when people can slip up and make the wrong decision’, said Burns.
We Bar None produces a range of wholefood energy bars that are gluten free and vegan, with low FODMAP and low carb options. The bars were created to be a healthy snacking solution – that you can snack, feel satisfied and be healthy!
As an avid nature lover; enjoying hiking, camping and turning off technology, Burns was determined to be ethical, sustainable and plastic free in all her business transactions. For many businesses, these may be throw away words, but for Burns, she lives by them.
We Bar None snack bars are packaged in Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) certified duplex crafted paper home compostable barrier film. This is the first business in Victoria to use PA Packaging Solutions home compostable packaging. Burns also uses recycled packing materials, even biodegradable tape and sources her ingredients from organic and ethical businesses.
Founding and running a successful business that is sustainable as well, is key to her plans. Ballarat, has played an important part in this. ‘They are a big environmentally friendly community and a tough crowd to please – they know their stuff when it comes to sustainability. If a product says its home compostable and it isn’t, they can see it in the compost bin not broken down and will let everyone know about it!’.
How to source sustainable packaging
Ms Burns has plenty of advice for other food suppliers looking for home compostable packaging.
‘Firstly, do your homework and research the packaging companies claims. There are a lot of companies who make claims that are simply not true. Secondly, be very specific about what you want and ask to see certification. Thirdly, test the product! There is a lot of confusion over definitions of compostable, industrial compostable and home compostable in the marketplace.’
During her research, Ms Burns tested one packaging supplier and found their packaging did not offer the UV protection nor was it thick enough to keep her bars fresh and provide the protection during transportation. Another packaging supplier claimed to be home compostable but when she asked more questions she found that the adhesive used in the packaging was not.
The biggest challenge for the snacking industry today
Burns is astonished at the amount of plastic packaging being used in the snacking industry today. ‘Snacking companies are very good at providing much healthier snacks than ever before, but they are slow at introducing packaging that is more environmentally sound. I’m surprised the big players are not taking it up faster and that I am the first food producer in Victoria to use PA Packaging Solutions home compostable packaging.’
Burns is proud of her achievement in creating an ethical and sustainable snack food business. At the multiple farmers markets she attends, Burns always looks forward to hearing from her customers how good her snacks taste.
‘It doesn’t matter how sustainable, ethical or healthy your food product is, if it doesn’t taste good nobody will buy it.’
We Bar None snack bars and crackers can be purchased online or through stockists listed on their website. If you want to know more about our sustainable packaging or how your product can be packaged in it, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 2 8882 9612.